Monday, April 30, 2007

Immunization Reports of Feb - Mar 2007

The Routine Immunization project aimed at 100% coverage of immunization all children and health awareness in 12 Panchayats in Malda district, supported by World Vision and Catholic Relief Services was carried on by Ms. Manasi Garain and her able team. The reports for the month of February 2007, and March 2007 are available. Ms. Manasi is taking over the Chief Program Coordinator of Health from 1 April, 2007. We wish her all the best! Sr. Thankamma, SDS who was till now the Chief Program Coordinator of Health is shifted as the Program Manager of Sponsorships & Scholarships Wing. We welcome her to take up this new venture! Congratulations to both of them!

Report of CBDP March 2007

The Disaster Preparedness Program supported by Caritas India and its partner agencies is going through a face-lift over this month as we are preparing for the next project to begin. The full report for the month of March 2007 includes lots of additional files. But we have just a brief report which you can view by clicking on Report of CBDP March 2007

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Natural Resource Management !

Mr. Joachim, a Forest Expert was in Raiganj on 21-22 Apr to visit various places in North Dinajpur, South Dinajpur and Malda. He visited Chopra in North Dinajpur, Dikul, Pransagar and Rajibpur in South Dinajpur, Agumpur, Rahutara and Panchanandapur in Malda District. He interacted with farmers, villagers and people who have been affected by river erosion. He also had a fruitful discussion with the Director of SWI, R. Puthumai A. Nazarene. Mr. Joachim will be the main resource person for a workshop at Barasat, 20 kilometers north of Kolkata, India from 25-27 April. Fr. Prabodh, Ms. R. Soren, Mr. H. Ghosh, Mr. S. Nahak, and Mr. J. Mahato are representing Social Welfare Institute in the training. SWI will present a brief presentation at the meeting on Discovering Natural Resources. (downloadable .ppt)

Friday, April 13, 2007

Fire kills two and destroys 800 houses in Malda

A disastrous fire has damaged atleast 600 houses on 3rd April, Tuesday at Bilaimari & Mahanandatola gram panchayats of northern Malda District in West Bengal, India. These two Panchayats with a population of over 70,000 are in an island in between the river Ganges and river Fulahar. One old man of 70 years was burnt to death in the incident. The fire has destroyed a large amount of yielded crop and property as well. Though the Govt. has provided aid like some tarpaulin sheets and dry food, with the extent of damage people feel that the relief materials are not sufficient for them as there are 4-5 members in each family and they are left with the clothes they were wearing, including the children and women. The houses are all thatched houses with straw of the paddy. Most able men in the villages are all out to other parts of India in search of labour, leaving the women and children to mend for themselves.

On the same day another devastating fire totally damaged Dangi and Satrai villages of Boroi grampanchayat in Harishchandrapur – I Block of Malda district. It has claimed one life and has destroyed 140 households and property.

Habibpur : Another incident of fire has also affected Srirampur grampanchayat of Habibpur Block on 4th April. 128 households have totally damaged including the heavy loss of crops and property.

Social Welfare Institute has initiated a relief operation. The total cost of the relief operation as planned would cost Rupees 7,15,000. Catholic Relief Services has promised $ 2000 (equivalent to Rupees 86,000) and Caritas India has allocated Rupees 2,00,000. The relief materials would include, clothing for children, women and men, household utensils, repair of tube-wells for drinking water, etc. covering over 800 families. If you would like to partner with us, contact us immediately. This is an Emergency. HELP !

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Church and Nandigram, West Bengal

The Church has responded to the situation in Nandigram, West Bengal, where the Government has a plan to acquire about 10,000 acres of land of the farmers for industrialization. This led to violent protests since January to March 2007 with already at least 18 persons killed in various violences, including 14 short dead in a police firing. The church leaders had a meeting on 2 April. The minutes of the meeting is given below :
The minutes of the meeting at Seva Kendra
with regard to Nandigram held on April 2, 2007
The representatives from SKC, Jesuits, Salesians, Bambina Sisters, ABCD, Indienhilfe, CHAI, Youth Commission and National Fisherfolk Movement attended the meeting.
The meeting started with a prayer led by I.P.Sarto.
Sibani who visited Nandigram on March 24-25 to assess the issues briefed about the situation. She suggested the following to be taken up seriously
1. A neutral agency to make a camp and to stay there to ensure protection to the people
2. To do trauma counselling by personal sharing
3. To influence the authorities to abandon the move of land acquisition
4. To ensure livlihood for the families who lost the jobs
Fr. Thomas Kocherry of NFM emphasised the need to stay with the people to create confidence among the people.
All were unanimous that a team should stay there continuously under the aegis of Seva Kendra Calcutta among the people to create "Peace Zone" to promote harmony, reconcilation, forgiveness and peace.
Frs. Reggie & Sarto would talk to Archbishop Lucas and to meet other Relgious about this move and to get their support.
(Subsequently they met the Archbishop who welcomed the move and encouraged them for the peace Zone. Bishops Lobo & Monis also expressed solidarity over phone).
As a mark of Peace, "WHITE Flags" will be erected and about 10 to 15 people would stay the share the anxieties of the victims and to express solidarity with them
Frs. Reggie, Xavier & Sarto and Ms. Sibani will coordinate the volunteers stay at the Peace zone.
Initially six member team from Hyderabad led by Fr. Thomas ( three priests, two sisters, a lay woman) would stay there during the Holy week from April 3, 2007. Fr. Xavier Jeyaraj, s.j. & Sr. Michael, SDS would also stay with them for a week. They would identify suitable place for a camp to be erected for the volunteers and would create rapport building in the area.
A team led by Frs. Reggie & Sarto would go on Easter Day to continue the Peace Zone initiative....
Vounteers would be welcomed from the Religious houses, seminaries, youth groups, SHG women, etc.....
Their stay would be coordianted by Fr. Reggie and SKC. The SKC would initially support for travelling and food expenses of the voulnteers. Initially "trauma Counselling" and to give protection to the people are the objectives. The vounteers will be motivated to be peace builders and to avoid absolutely any political side. Our Christian presence will be a witnessing one for re-establishing "Peace Zone" in the area. (Reported by I.P. Sarto)

The team has already set up camp to live in Nandigram in the Peace Zone. If any of you would like to be part of this peace process and would like to stay there for a day or two you may mail to Fr. Reggie at

The list of people who have given their names is given below:

Volunteers for Nandigram





Saturday, April 7

Reggie, Sarto, Vinnarasu, Jose

Ranchita & Mukta, DSA

Claretian bro.-1

Sunday, April 8

Sarto, Jose

Ranchita, Mukta

Claretian -1

Monday, April 9

Sarto, Jose,


Sr. Jeya, SCC Provincial & 2 Srs.

Tuesday, April 10

Jose, CSSR -1

2 SCC srs

Wednesday Apr. 11

Sarto, CSSR –1; Jesuit -1

2 DSA srs & 1 SCC

Thursday, Apr 12

CSSR- 1, Jesuit –1

Claretian –1

2 DSA Srs

Friday, Apr 13

Claretian -1

Saturday, Apr 14

Archbishop Lucas, Reggie

Sunday Apr 15